How Instant Issuance Saved Christmas

Financial crimes occur year-round, but the uptick of fraud and merchant data breaches is increasingly prevalent around the holidays. So, a bank’s ability to manage Christmas and holiday fraud successfully not only results in less revenue loss to the institution but also strengthens its customers’ confidence during such a joyous season. And while every bank works vigorously to prevent fraud, Williamstown Bank in Williamstown, West Virginia, has taken an especially proactive approach by implementing strategies including card monitoring and instant issuance of debit cards.

According to Williamstown Bank’s President and CEO, Sharon Anderson, the institution’s long-time use of Card Sentry, CSI’s 24/7 card monitoring service, has saved the bank hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.

That said, when financial crime spikes during the biggest travel and shopping season of the year, one invaluable component of the bank’s strategy to respond to the specter of fraud and data breaches is using CSI’s Instant Issuance solution. With this product, the bank can print permanent, working debit cards for their customers on the spot.

Fraud tends to spike around the holidays. Instant Issuance provides a way to quickly remedy card fraud.

“Talk about something that’s been a lifesaver,” Anderson said about Instant Issuance. “Many large retail breaches happen right before the holidays when people are trying to do their shopping, and we’re one of the few banks in our area that can instantly issue debit cards.”

“The all-around customer service and support we get from CSI is better than what we would get from anyone else, especially from the fraud side.”

Sharon Anderson
President and CEO
Williamstown Bank

A few years ago, several instances of large-scale fraud occurred just days before Christmas, affecting hundreds of Williamstown’s customers. Fortunately, said Anderson, the bank had a solution to prevent cybercriminals from stealing any more holiday cheer: “We could immediately have new cards in their hands, so there wasn’t a disruption to their Christmas shopping or their holiday seasons.”

Using Instant Issuance To Respond to Cases of Fraud or Compromise Immediately

Fraud crime is a personal violation, and overall, a nuisance. For Anderson, implementing Instant Issuance back in 2011 was all about correcting a frustrating situation for customers with ease and convenience.

During the holiday season especially, much attention turns to the retail sector. Further, steady growth in the realm of e-commerce invites even more card fraud and security breaches. But with CSI’s integrated Instant Issuance, when fraud occurs or a customer’s sensitive information is stolen, Williamstown Bank can get a new card in their hands the same day.

In addition to empowering a superior customer experience, Instant Issuance keeps an institution’s card at the top of customers’ wallets.

With Instant Issuance, Williamstown Bank can provide customers with active, permanent replacement debit cards in minutes.

“People don’t want to wait seven to 10 days for a new card, and they shouldn’t have to. The fact that we can issue instant, active debit cards and the customer can be on their way has saved us a lot,” Anderson said. “And it’s not just with the large breaches. With the uptick in fraud that we’ve seen in general, we’re printing cards all the time. So, it’s become one of our most popular services.”

Working Together to Proactively Prevent Card Fraud

Like any financial institution, Williamstown Bank takes card fraud prevention seriously. Beyond using Instant Issuance to make replacing cards simple and convenient, Anderson said CSI Card Sentry blocks numerous suspicious transactions on any given day, further empowering the bank’s proactive approach to fraud mitigation.

Thanks to integrating these solutions, Williamstown Bank has enhanced its card-fraud strategy while mitigating the bank’s financial and reputational risk.

“From Instant Issuance to Card Sentry and the card monitoring… it blows my mind if banks are still not using some of those services. It’s been extremely helpful over the years and is well executed,” Anderson said. “Several times over a weekend, we’ll see flagged attempts, and CSI immediately puts a rule in place to stop that continued fraud, and contacts our customers to verify the activity.

“The all-around customer service and support we get from CSI is better than what we would get from anyone else, especially from the fraud side.”

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